VERY CLOSE BUT TOO FAR?


” But when Felix heard these things (the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Paul), having more accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Way to God and salvation, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case…And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, holiness, self-control and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a more convenient time, I will call for you.”(Acts 24:22-25).

Dear Reader, Apostle Paul was accused for sedition, not even by an unbeliever but by Ananias, the High Priest and his elders. They even hired an orator to speak on their behalf against Paul. When Paul was brought before Governor Felix for judgment, the man with the power to release him, you would have expected him to start begging Felix or pleading for his release, just like what some preachers would do today. No! Paul didn’t. My friend, you may ask, “What did he talk about?”

  1. Righteousness– “Gov. Felix, are you in the right standing with God?” 
  2. Temperance (Self control) – “Your Excellency, do you live by principle or impulse?”
  3. Judgement to come – ‘Governor’, there is a bigger throne than the one I am standing in front of today and we are both going to appear before it. Are you ready?’

My friend, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News, should be preached with courage and boldness. We don’t need to water down the message of the cross just because we want to please our adherents. God is not interested in fearful and fireless Christianity. Felix listened to Apostle Paul, one of the world’s greatest preachers, and he trembled. But when it was time for him to make a decision for his salvation, he put it off saying, “Go away for now Paul; when I have a more convenient time I will call for you”.  Felix has every opportunity to believe in the Lord Jesus and confess Him as his Saviour but he lost the chance by postponement or procrastination. Unfortunately, we never read in the Scriptures where he found the time to get right with God. What an epitaph! What a warning to our politicians and the ‘timber and calibres’ today!

Governor Felix was moved but not saved. He was so close but too far. Sin is not a rash but it is a terminal condition. Therefore the Word of God should so convict you that you both tremble and run like Felix or fall at the feet of the Lord Jesus, confess, repent and change. If you are not born again or saved, this is another chance. The echo of your cry today should be, “What must I do to be saved?” The Word of God has power to save, liberate, give life, change life, bless and prosper you. My friend, how are things today between you and the Lord? Perhaps you go to Church; listen to great preaching or Christian broadcasts, even read inspired Holy Spirit- filled books and still postponing the day of your salvation. Maybe you don’t even go Church but the message you’ve heard sometime had moved you to conviction, as you think about your life and the changes you need to make but you keep waiting for a more convenient time to give your life to Jesus. Or have you ever heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to you in your lifetime and yet refused to believe and come to repentance?

Procrastination is a sin in itself because sin, in the simplest definitions, is Unbelief – making God a liar (1 John 5:10), lawlessness (1John 3:4), rebellion against God (Isa 1:2), all unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin is going your own way, planning your life according to your own will without seeking the will of God (Isa 53:6) and sin is a volitional act of disobedience against the revealed will of God (Jer 44:16-17). The Bible says, “Anyone who knows what is right but fails to do it is guilty of sin.” (James 4:17) My friend, hear me! Sin is a folly to deceive you, a force to destroy you and a fact to condemn you. So, when you are postponing the day of your relationship with Christ or the day of your return back to God in repentance and the day of your fellowship with the Holy Spirit; you are committing sin.

There are multitudes that have died without Christ simply because of procrastination and multitudes will be lost and go to hell that had planned to be saved some day in the future; and that future will never come before they answer the call of God. In Cornwall, England, a Professor lie buried in a small graveyard, with these words written on his tombstone… “I expected this, but not just yet”. My friend, you may smile, but the fact is that, no rich man, no educated or professional person and no politician can buy an extra day… No poor man and no illiterate can beg for another hour from the grim reaper that pursues all of us from the cradle to the grave. The real question today is not, “Is Jesus coming back again?” The real question is, “Will you be qualified to rapture, rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom?” Death is a necessary end. But when it comes hopefully at God’s appointed time, will you be ready?

My friend, I’m not trying to scare you, but if you were asleep on the railroad tracks and I saw the train coming, I should do all in my power, as God has given me the grace, to awaken you. Salvation is free and it is God’s plan for you. This is the time to come to God. There is no other plan that can save your lost, weary, dying, or compromised or backslidden soul and make you a child of God. All roads may lead to churches or temples but all religions do not lead to God and salvation. There is only one way by which you would be saved, and that is God’s way; and God’s way is through God-the Son – the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). The Bible says, “For God so loved the world (including you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him (today) should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

My friend, it is time to awake from your sleep and do something about your salvation, because today is the most convenient time you will ever have; tomorrow might be too late. The Bible says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Pro. 27:1). Listen! God’s grace is available for you now, not sometime in the distant future. You can give your life to Jesus Christ and claim Him as your Saviour today, at this very moment. This is the time of God’s favour for your life. He says, “In the time of My favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the accepted time of My favour, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2) Never put off till tomorrow what you ought to do today.

Felix listened to a great preacher. He was moved but not saved. My friend, you don’t have to fall into the same trap. Today is the day of your salvation. All you need to do now is to make a decision to confess your sins and forsake them, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, be baptised in water by emersion, receive the Holy Spirit and walk in the will of God.  The process of your salvation starts by praying this simple prayer loudly right now:

” Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for Your Word. I believe You came to this world to show me the way, died on the cross for my sins and rose again for me to have life. I want You to be the Lord of my life, now and forever. I am sorry for the many ways I have sinned against You and for my selfish ways of living. Please forgive me today and come into my life now as my Saviour. Wash me clean with your blood, fill me with Your Spirit; and with Your help, I will learn to love, trust and obey You as the Lord of my life. Thank You for forgiving me and bringing me back to God, in Jesus name Amen”.

My friend, if you have prayed this prayer, meaning it sincerely, then God has saved you from your sins. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:9-13). Secondly, God has made you a new person in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). If you do not belong to a local church, you should look for one where the Gospel of Jesus Christ (‘the Truth’) is continually being preached and Holy Spirit energised prayers are being offered without ceasing. You will be baptised there and you’ll receive the Holy Spirit. It is equally essential for you to read your Bible everyday backing it up with prayers to the Almighty God, in Jesus name and sin no more. Finally, do not forsake the assembly of brethren. It is from there that you will be built and strengthened to walk with God to fulfil your purpose in life. The angels and the saints both in heaven and on earth are rejoicing with you and I too!

 

Remain blessed!

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The Minister in Charge of CAC Solution Centre, Surrey Docks District.

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